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After the Saudi-Qatar reconciliation: Bin Salman must take step to improve the human rights situation in the kingdom

“Together for Justice” organization welcomed the announcement of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) to open the airspace and borders with Qatar to end the Gulf crisis that lasted more than three and a half years after KSA, UEA, Egypt and Bahrain, announced a blockade and cut diplomatic and business relations with Qatar.

Qatar AND Saudi Arabia

According to high-ranking officials, the four blockading countries agreed to lift the air and land blockade on Qatar in exchange for Qatar’s relinquishing of the lawsuits it brought against them in international courts for redress for the victims of boycott decisions imposed in June 2017, given that ending the crisis will restore lost rights to those who have been affected by those decisions.

Qatar

Saudi Arabia was one of the first blockading countries that agreed to the reconciliation negotiations and bringing an end to the crisis. The decision to open the airspace with Qatar came into effect immediately and Qatari flights to KSA resumed.

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani headed his country’s delegation to attend the 41st Gulf Summit held in the Saudi city of Al-Ula, which reflects the possibility of resuming relations again.

Kuwait and other countries made great efforts to end the dispute, as this crisis weakened the Gulf Cooperation Council politically and economically.

Despite the importance of this step, Together for Justice stressed on the need remember the innocents detainees inside Saudi prisons who got arrested for criticizing the blockade decision or expressing their wishes for peace to prevail between Gulf countries, given the long history and the interests they share.

The Saudi preacher Salman Al-Odah is among those detained for wishing conciliation between the countries. He has been detained for more than three years ago.

The preacher Sheikh Salman Al-Odah was arrested in September 2017 after sharing a tweet on his account where he prayed to Allah for unity of the hearts.

The Saudi regime considered this tweet as a violation of the ruler’s order, for which he got arrested, tortured, lost half of his hearing and eyesight, accused of terrorism, and threaten with execution.

Together for Justice calls on the Saudi regime to take steps similar to the reconciliation step that reflects a gesture of respect for humanitarian principles, to priorities to the human rights situation at home, release all prisoners of conscience, including activist Loujain Al-Hathloul and a number of defenders of women’s rights who were arrested for demanding the introduction of some reforms to the women’s rights in Saudi Arabia, such as changing the male guardianship system and allowing women to drive cars.

It is worth mentioning that these reforms that have already been carried out under the direct orders of the Crown Prince, yet those detainees are still detained.

READ: The human rights file in Saudi Arabia is a test for Biden and humiliation for Bin Salman

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